Mr. James A Coon
March 26, 1923 – April 11, 2019
James Aubrey Coon, 96, of Little Rock, went to be with the Lord on April 11th, 2019. He was born in Ouachita Parish Louisiana, on March 26th, 1923. He was preceded in death by his sweetheart of 68 years, Louise, sons James Russell and David, and his parents, Birdie and Leon Coon. He is survived by his daughter, Patricia Hobbs(Jim), five granddaughters, their spouses, twelve great grandchildren as well as three sisters, and many nieces and nephews.
A World War Two veteran, he served with the U. S. Army Air Corps in Europe. After the war, he worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone company for 38 years.
During WWII, James served in the Army Air Corps, the forerunner of the United States Air Force. He flew in planes offering air coverage during D-Day, and helped bring gasoline for Patton’s tanks during the Battle of the Bulge. In later years, it was discovered that his future son-in-law’s father was in one of those tanks awaiting gasoline to move up the line. After the war he was assigned temporary duty to escort American POWs captured in France, back to the United States. His orders said they were to get back to the States any way they could. Like most of the men of his generation, he didn’t see himself as a hero, just someone doing their job.
After the war he returned home to Lake Village, AR, married his sweetheart, Louise, and went to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone. He retired in 1984 as a District Manager. His time with SWBC was spent in Monticello, Fort Smith, and Little Rock. The family only lived three months in Monticello. During those three months, his wife bought, sold and moved houses three times. After the second move, he started calling home to ask if he should come to the last address or was there a new one.
While he worked at SWBC, he helped develop a ball that emitted sounds when thrown. Children with sight issues could hear the ball coming toward them, and participate in sports such as baseball.
When James and Louise’s children were growing up, many a weekend found the family out in a boat on Blue Mountain Lake hoping to bring home a catch of crappie. After moving to Little Rock, his “free” time was spent working around the house and helping his daughter learn how to pass math classes. After retirement he enjoyed gardening and working in his tool shop. The cabinets and bookcases in their home were built by him. As for his garden, family and friends enjoyed eating the fruits of his labors.
He became a Christian in his twenties. It made such an impact on his life that he held Bible devotions with the family every night before bedtime. He became a deacon in his church and served as a Sunday School teacher for many years. He wanted to use any talent God granted him, to benefit others. That attitude saw him building shelves in a church in Montana and running the sound system at Lifeline Baptist. He loved his church and was sad when he decided that he was not able to attend.
He was known by many names: Honey, by his wife, Dad to his kids and in later years the granddaughters called him Poppy and Poppa. Most of the public called him James or Jim. His family had a penchant for nicknames. His brother, Leon Jr., was referred to as Tump, His sister Louise was known as Pete, and Virginia was called Lady. James was called Possum. He was asked one time why he was called Possum. He claimed not to know, but the kids always felt there had to be a story behind it.
He was a kind, caring man. He was always willing to help out neighbors in distress. He had a little different take with family members. He’d learned many things on his own and expected family to do the same. He went to help move a granddaughter into her new apartment. There was an entertainment center that needed to be put together. He could have done it in half the time, but he stood off to the side watching the family struggle. He had faith that in the end they would get it done and take pride in figuring it out. And he was right.
He taught his sons how to drive a car, but had to acknowledge failure with his daughter. He happily passed that chore on to her husband.
He felt that it was his duty to prepare for the future. His mantra was “I don’t want to be a burden.” A month after his wife passed, he announced to his daughter that he was moving to assisted living. No one could persuade him to change his mind. So after nearly 30 years in Bryant, he moved into Good Shepherd Assisted Living facility in Little Rock. He often said, “It’s not home, but I’m happy here.” He was concerned about each of his neighbors at Good Shepherd..
None of his grandchildren settled in the Little Rock area. Whenever they called, he asked the following: How are you doing? When are you coming to see me? And closed by saying how proud he was of them. He was a great example of what a loving grandfather should be.
In all facets of his life, he set the bar high. He was admired by many and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
- Visitation Friday, April 19, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, April 19, 2019
- Committal Service Friday, April 19, 2019
Mr. James A Coon
April 19, 2019
My name is Rebecca, daughter of Florence Smith who lived across the hall from Mr. Coon at Good Shepard
When I was setting up mothers room, he was the first person to come over & introduce himself & said he thought my mother would be very happy there.
Every time I visited, he was my favorite to stop & chat - always had a smile & a kind word. While exercising out front one day, I drove up to get my mother...he said “that’s a nice car - what is it”?
He wore his veteran hat a lot, so I thanked him one day for his service. Typical of his generation, he was humble.
I will miss him & his gentle spirit & so will my mother. Rest In Peace Mr. Coon ❤️
Richards Honda Yamaha
April 16, 2019
We are so sorry for your loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
The staff of Richards Honda Yamaha
April 14, 2019
janie mathews & patricia king betty cogley & maryann petry said,s james was a sweet man
we are going to miss him very much
April 13, 2019
we are going to miss james at the roberts building at goood shepherd